Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Ruben Santiago-Hudson was born on November 24, 1956 in Lackawanna, New York. Unable to care for him, his parents left him to be raised by his mother's landlady in an upstate New York boarding house. After playing Huck Finn in an elementary school production of Tom Sawyer, Santiago-Hudson decided he wanted to be an actor. He graduated from Binghamton University with a bachelor's degree in theatre and also earned an MFA from Wayne State University and a doctorate from Buffalo State College. He made his Broadway debut as Buddy Bolden in Jelly's Last Jam (1992-93), and his directorial debut with a production of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean at the McCarter Theater in Princeton. In 2001, Santiago-Hudson wrote and performed in his own one-man show (plus musician) Lackawanna Blues where he portrayed over 20 characters from his past, sang, and played the harmonica. The play was made into a television movie in 2005, with Santiago-Hudson writing the adaptation and appearing in the film in a supporting role. His twins, Lily and Trey, also had cameos.

Santiago-Hudson gives lectures on theater at colleges and has worked as a private acting coach. He is married to Jeannie Brittan and has four kids, Broderick, Ruben III, Lily and Trey.


  • Winner of the 1996 Tony Award for Actor - Featured Role (Play) for his performance in Seven Guitars. The Tony awards recognize excellence in live American theater.
  • Of Puerto Rican and African-American descent.
  • His father was a railroad worker.
  • Is friends with Halle Berry, a producer of Lackawanna Blues and his costar in Their Eyes Were Watching God.
  • Wrote Lackawanna Blues, an autobiographical play in which he portrayed himself and some twenty different characters from his past, which he adapted for a highly-acclaimed, award-winning 2005 HBO film that won him the Humanitas Prize and earned him Emmy and Writers Guild of America Award nominations.
  • Is an actor, writer and producer.

  • The Invention of Lying (2009) - Landlord
  • "Law & Order" (1990-2008) - Attorney Winters
  • "Canterbury's Law" (2008) - Judge Joe Stanley
  • Long Island Confidential (2008) (TV) - Calvin Burke
  • American Gangster (2007) - Doc
  • Honeydripper (2007) - Stokely
  • Mr. Brooks (2007) - Hawkins
  • Brother's Shadow (2006) - Manny Botero
  • "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (2005) - Carlos Guzman
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005) (TV) - Joe Starks
  • Lackawanna Blues (2005) (TV) - Freddie Cobbs
  • "Zoe Busiek: Wild Card" (2004) - Bennett Graham
  • "Whoopi" (2003) - Marshall
  • Winning Girls Through Psychic Mind Control (2002) - Samuel Menendez
  • "All My Children" (2001, 2002) - Dr. Zeke McMillan
  • Domestic Disturbance (2001) - Sgt. Edgar Stevens
  • Shaft (2000) - Jimmy Groves
  • "Third Watch" (1999) - Det. Wolfort
  • "The West Wing" (1999) - Morris Tolliver
  • "Touched by an Angel" (1999) - Dr. Joe
  • "Spawn" (1997-1998) (Voice) - Jess Chapel
  • "Early Edition" (1999) - Emmett Brown
  • The Devil's Advocate (1997) - Leamon Heath
  • "Gargoyles" (1995) (Voice) - Gabriel
  • "NYPD Blue" (1994, 1995) - Otis
  • "The Cosby Mysteries" (1994) - Police Officer
  • Another World (1990-1993) - Billy Cooper
  • "Life Goes On" (1990) - Mr. Serno
  • "Amen" (1990) - Fireman
  • Coming to America (1988) - Street Hustler

* (Does not include all guest apperances or any theater performances)

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